There are plenty of incredible dental advancements in the world. Dentistry is no longer painful as it once was. Consider manually scraping tooth decay with a stone tool or undergoing operations without anesthesia. While dental anxiety and fear are still genuine, dentistry has done an excellent job of making the dental experience less traumatic than it once was. However, we often ignore these tremendous dental treatments that have helped us get to this point.
Some things on our list aren’t quite as astounding as you may anticipate. Most of these “amazing dental feats” are something we do regularly or are already familiar with when we visit the dentist. But consider for a moment what it would be like without these things. Dental hygiene and care would be a complete nightmare, not to mention nonexistent.
Therefore, what are the fantastic dental solutions that have transformed dental care? The following deserves recognition:
Anesthesia: If you naturally experience anxiety when seeing the dentist or any other medical professional, you’ve likely had to undergo some heavy anesthesia. And as a result, there’s a good chance that you won’t recall why you had the procedure in the first place. Whether in the dentist’s chair or operating table, anesthesia saved many people’s lives and sanities. Remember to express your gratitude to your anesthesiologist whenever you can because it’s likely that they kept you calm and alive.
Caries Detection Solution: This describes a liquid red dye that dentists apply to teeth. This dye can confirm that after therapy, tooth decay has disappeared. This is the same as plaque-disclosing tablets. These tablets make it easier to identify missed areas or not thoroughly cleaned after brushing.
Desensitizers: If a patient has sensitive teeth, the dental hygienist or dentist can use desensitizers before dental procedures. These provide comfort throughout the entire process. Dentists may use them independently or with other sedatives, local anesthetics, and painkillers to reduce anxiety and pain.
Digital X-rays: Digital X-rays use a sensor to capture dental images, which are then converted to a computer screen. Modern dental technology currently offers greater comfort than conventional X-rays. They can also prevent overexposure to radiation. Furthermore, four digital radiographs are roughly equivalent to one paper X-ray.
Electric Handpieces: These dental instruments support dental hygiene practices. Dentists may use them in conjunction with rotary cutting tools. Similarly, they provide gentle delivery, putting less stress on the healthy tooth framework. These are also quieter.
Intra-Oral Cameras: These can help produce precise images of the teeth and the supporting framework. They allow your dentist, dental technician, and even you to see tooth defects. In addition, these can assist you in learning more about the importance of proper oral hygiene habits, including where to focus when cleaning your teeth.
Surgery is probably not your preferred procedure. It’s not ideal to do dental procedures using the conventional cut-and-sew technique, especially given the subsequent pain and bleeding. Fortunately, periodontal laser surgery is an excellent dental procedure steadily rising in popularity. In addition to being less bloody than its conventional counterpart, it also has the added benefit of speeding up healing your wounds.
Additionally, lasers can make our teeth look whiter. You can get laser teeth whitening done at the dentist’s office in a process that takes approximately an hour. A bleach-containing gel is applied to the teeth and activated by a laser, resulting in whiter and brighter teeth.
Optical Scanners: With these, you may get a precise digital map of the tooth. Similarly, it can create a 3D replica model of the dental structure. In addition, they assist in providing accurate color analysis for dental lab-made cosmetic restorations like bridges, crowns, and veneers.
Wand: This pertains to a digital dental tool that helps administer anesthesia in a methodic and gradual approach. Usually, the discomfort experienced after receiving an injection results from the pressure of the liquid being injected.
Additionally, the progressive and delicate delivery of the wand typically results in far more comfortable and pain-free injections. Finally, the delivery holder for this tool is small and simple to use.
Dental professionals can now choose from a growing number of dental technologies. As a result, the benefits of going to the dentist nowadays can bring you more convenience and comfort.
Computers Help in Reducing Dental Fear
CARL, also known as computer-assisted relaxation learning, is another recent development. CARL assists patients in overcoming dental fear and anxiety (DFA) caused by injections. The dental assistant employs systematic desensitization—a therapy that gradually exposes you to the things you fear until you no longer fear them.
But how does CARL employ systematic desensitization?
Patients can heal themselves with computer-assisted relaxation learning
First and foremost, you should be aware of CARL’s self-paced nature. It would help if you watched out that the pace of exposure doesn’t overwhelm the patient because the dental assistant performs systematic desensitization. The process itself is traumatic. Patients have to gradually face their triggers because it’s mainly used to address phobias. Furthermore, meeting your greatest fear isn’t exactly the most enjoyable experience. Pacing the treatment to the patient’s comfort level makes the experience less unpleasant.
Placing the treatment pace in the patient’s hands also helps them feel in control of the situation. But, on the other hand, it might knock you off balance and make you feel hopeless after going through a traumatic experience. Therefore, regaining that sense of agency becomes an essential step in the healing process and benefits the patient in the long term.
However, when we say self-paced, we don’t only mean the amount of time they spend with the assistant. Patients can “pause the video at any time” to report their fear levels, according to a Dental Tribune article on research with CARL. When anxiety levels are incredibly high, CARL might reroute patients to a less upsetting video until they are ready to move forward.
A combination of videos and relaxation techniques
How does CARL operate exactly? It mostly makes use of videos. According to the Dental Tribune article, two of these videos taught patients how to manage their fear. The remaining seven films demonstrate an actor receiving a dental injection step-by-step. These videos aim to introduce the trigger to the patient progressively.
The patient should ideally employ the coping mechanisms they learned from the training videos to minimize anxiety at every point of exposure. Patients are urged to perform this for 30 minutes, at least once a week, as part of the study. Some people might consider this a leisurely pace, yet the researchers saw a significant improvement in these participants. This contrasts, in particular, with the control group, who discussed a booklet with a dental assistant.
What You Should Know About The CAD/CAM System
Your dentist may advise getting a dental crown if your teeth are weak, chipped, cracked, discolored, or if you want to improve your smile.
A dental crown is a type of dental restoration that gets placed on a tooth. It protects a weak tooth and helps restore a broken tooth. It can also help hold a dental bridge in place and cover a tooth with misshaping or discoloration.
To install a dental crown, the patient needs two separate dental visits. The first visit involves the preparation of the tooth and the creation of an impression. Then, the cementing of a temporary crown also takes place.
For some, two dental appointments can be time-consuming. Furthermore, these appointments can disrupt daily schedules. Taking an impression is unpleasant, and a temporary crown is unsightly and difficult to adjust to at first.
Fortunately, dentistry keeps improving, moving away from ineffective procedures and toward comfort, speed, and quality.
The CAD/CAM system makes it possible to complete dental restorations in a single visit rather than requiring multiple appointments, waiting periods, and uncomfortable dental impressions.
The term “CAD/CAM Dentistry” refers to the incorporation of CAD/CAM, which stands for computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing into the dental field. The CAD/CAM dental technology is capable of many dental procedures. This includes digital impressions and plans for producing full restorations, surgical guides, fixed partial & complete dentures, implant abutments, and orthodontic appliances.
This dental technology is not only impressive for its excellent capabilities. For example, CAD/CAM dental technology allows same-day crowns, bridges, dentures, implants, and veneers. This is because it will enable the completion of the restoration in the dental office on the same day.
How Does CAD/CAM Work?
CAD/CAM often consists of three parts: the computer system, milling unit, and software.
The computer system features the hardware used for viewing and designing the restoration. For example, the milling unit points to the machine to shape the restoration. The software consists of data or instructions the computer system processes to create the restoration.
Here’s How These Three Work Together:
The crown, in-lay, and other dental components are designed using a computer program. After that, the milling machine receives the information for fabrication. Once this stage is complete, the finished restoration is set for cementation or bonding.
This system allows the patient to complete their procedure in a single appointment and without the need to wear a provisional restoration.
Could We Regrow Teeth in the Future?
At the Riken Centre for Developmental Biology in Japan, researchers found a way to extract cells in the mouth to help form teeth. Researchers split these cells, or “germs,” and implanted them into the jaws of mice to test whether or not new teeth would grow.
Approximately 15 days later, the cells started to develop into teeth. But there’s a catch. In the experiment, the mice’s teeth only doubled in size, or around 50%, from their original size. However, this might be helpful for kids with missing teeth or those with underdeveloped teeth due to Down syndrome or cleft lip.
Given that millions of people wear dentures globally, with more than a million being between the ages of 16 and 44, this process of developing your teeth could be very beneficial in reducing the need for dentures.
26% of adults do not have permanent teeth by age 74. However, new technology has the potential to cut down on demand for these artificial devices drastically.
For patients with one or more missing teeth, the fact that dental implants are often placed with a titanium screw causes a significant amount of concern for several reasons. First, there are many questions regarding this material’s safety. Some people worry that the treatment will be excruciating. However, because developing your teeth is natural and uses your body’s cells to regenerate teeth, the body will recognize the newly produced teeth and not reject them, unlike in many situations involving dental implants.
Stem Cell Research: The End of Root Canals?
The Wyss Institute of Harvest University and the University of Nottingham are working on ways dentists could heal one’s tooth using their own stem cells. The researchers involved in this investigation have already won praise for their possible discovery. In fact, the Royal Society of Chemistry honored them with an award.
Cell cultures are still in need of laboratory testing at this point. Their next test will involve rodents. The good news is that stem cells may hold the key to eliminating root canals. Unfortunately, the possibility of using this method on humans is unknown.
Even introducing it to today’s dentists might require years and years of research and testing. However, it’s safe to say that this research has been successful for the time being.
So, Why is This New Research So Vital?
It’s important to remember that the materials used to fill teeth often contain toxic elements to the mouth’s cells. However, scientists hope this new research will stop using these dangerous fillings. Instead, they plan to help recreate part of a patient’s tooth, a much safer and more natural approach.
Additionally, the future use of stem cells for root canals could put a stop to the traditional drill-based, painful, anxiety-inducing approach of doing a root canal. This innovative regeneration technique aims to show millions of patients worldwide that dental procedures don’t have to be frightening.
Picture a world where patients experience less dental anxiety. As a result, more patients would choose to receive treatment instead of avoiding the dentist out of fear. This would result in a significant improvement in patients’ overall oral health.